Sunday, May 1, 2011

Clear Objectives

Today I did my first long distance triathlon race in a long time. It was a half-Ironman distance which corresponds to 1,9k swimming + 90k cycling +21k running.

It was a tough course with a three-loop bike course full of climbs and fast descents. A course not suited for my skills, but I still wanted to do it to regain some tri-racing experience and to test a few things before my full Ironman race.

In short, in terms of time performance, it was a disaster.
I was really physically suffering the whole day!

Due to the suffering, during the race, I was starting to doubt my approach to the preparation of the Ironman race. Actually, I was starting to consider what some of my friends tell me: that I should prepare the race with a more specific and structured training plan, and that I should cut other activities like free-climbing that are hurting my triathlon performance.

As a matter of fact, specific and structured training is what I prepare for athletes looking for top racing performance. But this is not what I am doing for myself.

Is it ok for me not to follow what I do when coaching others?
It all depends on what is the final objective.

This is where having Clear Objectives, from the beginning of any SuperFit Project (or any Life Project!) become so important: To plan how to approach any situation and how to measure the success of anything you intend to do, you have first to consider what is Your guiding objective.

And my guiding objective for this comeback to being active in sports, through the preparation of the Ironman, is this:

"To be able to complete the Ironman triathlon in Klagenfurt on July 3rd, 2011 with the best time possible, having always fun and without putting my health at risk"

Thus, based on these Clear Objectives, what happened today in my training race was not a disaster at all:

I was not fast, but I still finished the race
I learned a lot from the experience
I really enjoyed the beauty of the lake and the view from the surrounding hills

I am not injured and I had lots of fun
I drank lots of beer and ate great food, too! ;)

In other words, following My Clear Objectives, I will keep training and having fun as I am doing now. I will also keep drinking red wine and beer. And I will not eliminate my mountaineering or free-climbing activities even if they make me slower. I love them too much to sacrifice them just to improve my race time performance.

Having Clear Objectives is key to dissolve any doubts during decision making. After all, it does not matter what others think, but what You really think and want.

By the way, here is a short video compilation of the last training I have done. You will see that is not only triathlon, but for sure it is respecting my Clear Objectives: It has been extremely Fun!!!

(I am using a helmet camera during the bike, so be ready for jumpy video again!)

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